Friday, June 28, 2013

Isabella is on the move!

On our last day at the beach, Isabella started to scrunch and shimmy from Todd's lap, over his leg, and face-down into the blanket.  It's the first time that we really saw her on the move. 

We have noticed her shimmying a little when playing on her play mat - but this was a giant effort to get across his leg!

She is getting stronger.  And the things she is now doing have been happening by leaps and bounds in a short period of time.  Rapid-fire development!!

Isabella recently started rolling from back to front... 

  ... twisting ... 


  ... getting over that shoulder ...

.... and finishing the roll before I can capture it on the slow camera phone~


She doesn't just shimmy and scoot herself off of the activity mat anymore. She rolls and twists her way off -- and then does a 180 to boot!  When she started - she her head was under the toys and feet facing the camera.

She is pushing up on her hands and knees with a little bit of rocking back and forth.  So - what comes next??  Crawling immediately followed when Mercer started doing this.  yikes!

Maybe the Johnny Jumper will hold her over for awhile so she loses interest in crawling!?!  Not that we don't want her to crawl -- it just changes EVERYTHING! 

She's having a blast in the jumper... and Mercer is too (as seen in this video)~


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Edisto Beach 2013 - Part 3

Mercer and I took several excursions by bike while on the island.  We went looking for letterbox "treasure stamps" and we also went to another fishing spot in more brackish water. Mercer was sort of excited about going fishing -- but I think he was more excited about sneaking out of the house to go out while Todd and Isabella slept.... a special trip that only he and I were taking!
The fishing pier I took him to is one of my favorite spots on the island. I always seem to end up here by myself. It amazes me that there really aren't other people that hang out in this exact spot. This pier is the first place I went on our first day there. I woke up early & went to watch the sun rise over the marsh. (below)
Mercer did not catch a fish here, unfortunately, but I enjoyed spending this time with him and sharing "my favorite spot" on the island with him!

Mercer and I also did some other fun things on the island together.  We took sand from the beach, dyed it different colors, and made sand art with Isabella's empty baby food jars. 

Vacation is for sleeping in, however...
Isabella woke us up on our last day of vacation before dawn (Mercer was yelling in his sleep "stop it! stop crying!") ... so I figured while I was awake I should go check out our last sunrise on the island.  And - so the boys could sleep, take Isabella out to see her first.  These shots are from the ocean side of the island.

Apparently why I was watching the sun and talking to Isabella about how the sun rises as the earth rotates, we were being watched.  There was a couple who said they wanted to take our picture so that I would have something to remember that morning by. 

T-shirt, PJ pants, and no make-up.... I don't necessarily need a memento of that, but...

...what I will hold on to is this giant sun-washed yawn! 

The rest of the trip was filled with more trips to the beach and to the pool. 

By the end of the trip, Isabella was pretty comfortable swimming at the pool - kicking her legs and splashing the water a little... smiling.   Again - no photos  in the water for obvious reasons!

We watched dolphins, flocks after flocks of pelicans and sea gulls flying overhead, played volleyball at the cabana, built sand castles (and destroyed them too), flew kites, played in the waves, and hunted for shells. 

Here's a video of Isabella watching & getting excited by the kite Todd and Mercer were flying on the beach below:

Mercer seemed to never tire. 

Todd and I were relaxed, but not necessarily rested (there's a bit of work that goes into playing with and keeping safe two small children at the beach).

Isabella was worn out!

We had a great time.  Mercer said he wanted to stay for 19 days instead of only 7.  That would be great, however, we'll have to just hold onto the memories of those 7 days together as our little family unit 'til next year~



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Edisto Beach 2013 - Part 2

We normally take a day trip from the island, however, we did not do that on this trip.  We ended up trying something new instead:  fishing. 

We got Mercer a little pole & reel, a net, some bait, etc.  There were a number of fresh water lakes near where we were staying.  There were fish in these lakes -- we could see them swimming below the surface of the water and sometimes even jumping out of the water.  We did not catch a thing, however.  The only fresh bait that we could purchase on the island was shrimp.  The bait shops were more accustomed to selling bait to people who were interested in fishing in the ocean or the brackish rivers.... not the freshwater lakes inland. 

It was pretty hopeless, but we still gave it a shot.  (This was on Day 3) It was fun for Mercer for a little while.  At least Mercer enjoyed catching the small minnows at the edge of the lake.  Isabella was content enough to chill out in a tent in the shade.  We thought we would try another spot another day. 

On Day 4, we went to a unique spot we had been before, but love to visit:  Botany Bay.  We spent more time on the beach this time out than we have in the past. 

The tide was low, so we were able to check out the other side of the beach.  The thing that's so cool about this place:  it is 100% natural.  No one has dredged the shoreline to make it pristine.  It's just so different. 

Mercer basically explored the area like a playground -- climbing over the fallen logs... hanging from the tree limbs... playing hide and seek... lining up the shells that have washed up on the shore. 

We took a picnic lunch to the beach.  Isabella got to join us and eat her lunch in this unique setting too. 

Next time, we'll bring bathing suits and towels so we can play in the water and spend more time there.   

Here are some more photos we took from the beach and marsh of this beautiful wildlife management area.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Edisto Beach 2013 - Part 1

The drive feels like it takes absolutely forever, but when we reach the island, we know all of the driving was worth it with the two little ones.  We got to the island, unpacked the car, and ate the dinner we called ahead & picked up.  Mercer decided that he needed to try out the handheld sweeper that was in the condo, THEN we walked over to the beach.

We stayed in a different condo this year than in previous years.  We were not sure how we would like this spot, as we really liked the other spot we were in… but as it turns out, there are a handful of things that we like a little bit better:  we have a screened in porch and we are within walking distance to the top end of the beach.  

On our walk to the closest beach access point, Isabella fell asleep in my arms. When we got to the edge of the dunes, I sat on the bench cuddling her as Todd & Mercer went out onto this little piece of land that stretched across a small part of the beach that was slowly becoming engulfed in the rising tide.  It almost looked like they were standing on an island in the ocean & sometimes it looked like they were standing in the ocean itself. 

The sun was setting.  The boys were having fun throwing things into the water.  It was bliss… holding sweet baby girl and watching Mercer and Todd play against the background of the ocean and sunset. 

On our first full day of vacation, Mercer wanted to visit the pool.  We obliged (after getting groceries, running some errands, and eating breakfast).  

This was Isabella’s first trip to a pool & in the end, she seemed to like it. At first, she didn't seem to know what to think -- she looked sort of stunned and clinging to us.  Sorry we do not have any photos… but one of us was always holding Isabella and the other of us was attending to / playing with Mercer.  We went to the beach in the afternoon for kite-flying and playing Frisbee.  Baby girl slept through much of the beach trip, although, she did get to dip her toes in the ocean for the first time.

On our second day, we set out on an adventure that we had attempted in the past, but not able to accomplish previously:  walk out to a place called Jeremy’s Inlet to go shelling.  

Mercer was quite a bit younger on our previous attempts, and was not up for walking the 2+/- miles each way.  This time, we decided to cut a little bit of the distance out by paying for a day-pass to the Edisto Island Beach State Park and walking over from their beach access point.  We cut off a little bit of the distance & really pushed the kids to make it to the end.  Yes – even Isabella was a trooper!  

The water seemed clearer at Jeremy's Inlet and there were shells everywhere - including making up the banks on either side of the inlet.  Since the inlet meets the ocean - there were waves that would gently ripple in.  The most delicate glass-like rustling sound would fill the air.  

There were only a handful of people in this area while we visited, but we found a spot where we felt like we were totally alone.  Took went shell-seeking.  Mercer and I sat together on the edge of the inlet with our feet in the water feeling for shells with our toes -- again -- baby girl in my arms.  
It felt really serene.  I'm not sure why this part of the island gets more shells (and historic artifacts apparently).  There was definitely something unique about this spot.  I'm glad we finally got to experience it!